20Nov Pope Francis’ Advice for Bishops, Priests and prospective Seminarians

Iacopo Scaramuzzi reports on some off the cuff remarks made by Pope Francis at a Conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy.
He told bishops: “Be present in your dioceses of resign”
To priests he said “It is not normal for a priest to be often sad, nervous, or of a hard character; it is not good, and does no good, neither for the priest nor for his people,”
About those wishing to enter the seminary he said authorities should think twice if the young man “is too confident, rigid and fundamentalist”.

20Nov Faith, Ethics, Elections, Citizenship

Pádraig McCarthy poses some interesting questions as we face into a general election in the Republic of Ireland early in the new year.
"We have an election coming early next year, significant for the centenary of 1916. How does our faith in Jesus Christ inform our active citizenship?
What inspiration and challenges can faith offer to setting goals in political and public life? "

20Nov De-centralisation and the selection of bishops

Robert Mickens in his 'Letter from Rome' on Global Pulse Magazine comments on the stresses and strains that surface when trying to attempt de-centralisation in the church. He says "Reactions to the US bishops’ deliberations this week at their fall meeting suggest that Catholics may have drawn the conclusion, unwittingly, that decentralization may not be all that it’s cracked up to be."
However he adds 'it is going to be a rough and rocky road to healthy decentralization in the Catholic Church. It’s not likely to happen until the synodality that Francis is trying to instill in the Church’s way of living and being also embraces and transforms the way bishops are selected.
Even if a change in the discernment process for choosing our pastors were to be implemented in the next couple of years, it would probably take at least two more generations before we’d get an episcopate that would make decentralized government effective.
Having said that, there are some men in miters – even those with the august rank of cardinal – who should be doing everything as the pope wishes, both in style and emphasis.
And they actually do work for him. They are called apostolic delegates and Vatican officials."

20Nov Mercy can heal the wounds of the Church

The Tablet recently carried an edited version of a lecture written by Cardinal Walter Kaspar for The Spirit of Catholic Renewal, a conference held at Durham University as one of the events to mark The Tablet’s 175th anniversary. In his absence due to illness, the lecture was delivered by Professor Eamon Duffy. 

In his address Cardinal Kasper asked "How can we heal the many wounds of the Church caused by its divisions? How can we heal the many wounds of our world? Once more Pope Francis gives us the right cue. It is taken from the very centre of the Gospel; its name is mercy. Reconciliation, including reconciliation of divided Christians, can be achieved only by mercy."

20Nov What Needs Reform in the Church?

Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on a recent talk on "What Needs Reform in the Church?" by Fr. Gabriel Daly who was speaking ahead of the launch of his new book, 'The Church: Always in Need of Reform'

20Nov 20th November. Friday of Week 33.

1st Reading: 1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59

The temple is purified and rededicated, at the first ever celebration of the feast of Hannukah

Then Judas and his brothers said, “See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the … Read the rest